THE BURNING PLAIN Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Arriaga (longtime scriptwriter for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu on films like Babel and 21 Grams) directs this multi-layered drama about various disparate, but obscurely interconnected people along the border towns of New Mexico, in search of love and redemption. Kim Basinger, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, and John Corbett co-star. (R) 111 minutes.
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Campion’s spellbinding ‘Bright Star” a thing of beauty
It begins like a Jane Austen comedy of manners, with genteel country folk in top hats and high-waisted frocks visiting each other’s parlors, trading repartee. But filmmaker Jane Campion has something far more rapturous, mysterious, and absorbing in mind for her new film, Bright Star. Working from a real-life romance in the life of Romantic-era English poet John Keats, Campion creates an achingly lovely ode to youthful passion, and the wellspring of art.
ASTRO BOY A futuristic Pinocchio for a generation that grew up with the old Japanese cartoon series, this is a big screen adaptation of the story of a boy robot built by a lonely inventor who finds acceptance when he defends his city against a band of monster robots. Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, and Kristen Bell provide voices. David Bowers (Flushed Away) directs. (PG)
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Mother, sons, come of age in funny, affectionate ‘My One And Only’
Nobody has ever mistaken George Hamilton for a serious actor—including himself. Indeed, his self-deprecating sense of humor has served him well throughout a long career that began as a male starlet in the early 1950s and segued well into the age of irony, where Hamilton is best known for his killer tan, and comedy spoofs like Zorro, The Gay Blade. So it’s not surprising to find so much sly wit and affectionate good humor in My One And Only, a fictionalized memoir produced by Hamilton about his own teen years with his eccentric, yet intrepid, mother.
CLOUDY WTH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS Adapted from the children's picture book by Judi and Ron Barrett, this animated feature revolves around a small-town inventor who creates a phenomenon by which food rains down from the sky. Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and Bruce Campbell provide voices. Chris Miller and Phil Lord direct. (PG) Starts Friday.
9 Rookie filmmaker Shane Acker expands his Oscar-nominated animation short into this "stitchpunk" puppet-animation feature. In a post-apocalyptic future, after the machines have oblitrated humanmankind, it's up to a plucky band of hybrid creatures imbued with the spark of life to revive the spirit of humanity. Elijah Wood, Christpher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly, and John C. Reilly provide voices. (PG-13) 79 minutes.